Existing law regulates public utilities, including electrical and gas corporations. The Public Advocate's Office of the Public Utilities Commission is established as an independent office within the Public Utilities Commission to represent and advocate on behalf of the interests of public utility customers and subscribers within the jurisdiction of the commission.
This bill would request the office to establish, by January 1, 2026, a program to, upon request of the Legislature, analyze legislation that would establish a mandated requirement or program or otherwise affect electrical or gas ratepayers, as specified. The bill would request the office to develop and implement conflict-of-interest provisions that would prohibit a person from participating in an analysis for which the person knows or has reasons to know that the person has a financial interest. The bill would require the commission, on June 15 of each year, to assess an annual fee on all large electrical and gas corporations, as defined, to fund the projected costs incurred by the office in implementing the bill, not to exceed $2,000,000 annually, divided evenly among each large electrical and gas corporation, as specified, for deposit into the Energy Programs Benefit Fund, which would be established by the bill. The bill would continuously appropriate the moneys in the fund to the office to support the work of the office in providing analyses under the bill. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2030.
This bill would include a change in state statute that would result in a taxpayer paying a higher tax within the meaning of Section 3 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution, and thus would require for passage the approval of 23 of the membership of each house of the Legislature.